Career Advisor (Short Story)

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Career Advisor (Short Story)

She sat in his office, young and enthused, as he asked her, whether she had any idea what she wanted to be.

“I want to be a healer” she responded far from despondent with eyes that lit up as though she had VIP access to her future. The tutor looked back with his file on his lap tapping his pen at his pad before probing for specifics.

“A medic?” in a tone honing towards his construction of progress yet she shook her head in dissent, accepting no less than what she had said, not what he thought he heard. Eyebrow raised he looked to his page scanning through, trying to decipher the type of career she sought.

“Doctors heal, as would a midwife or nurse, perhaps you could try to work, as a counsellor first, maybe a vet, or clerk at some volunteering firm… I just think maybe ‘healer’ is too ambiguous a word?”

She looked unfazed, young as she may have been, and sought to explain wearing her passion on her sleeve:

“I want to heal like the healers, to those who have lost,
heal like prayers in the churches, synagogues and mosques,
heal as the positive memories can force a smile from a coffin,
I want to heal often, and heal to soften
The blows of the world, to transform them to breezes,
To remind that after every hardship follow eases,
Heal to the broken hearted, to those spoken to as garbage,
To my mum when my father used to raise his arm and,
Heal with literacy, the dangers of litter at sea..
Heal the components that make life so bittersweet
Heal the boy in my class whose bullies make him dread to be alive
Where every passing moment is a question of whether he’ll survive
Heal the girl in my year who tried to coat herself with tippex
So affected by the racism, desperately seeking to escape the effects
Heal the addicts with the right fix, restore their right to dignity
Those who made the same mistake as many but suffered for it endlessly,
I understand some may never see, that healer maybe isn’t on your list,
Yet I have contemplated an occupation, as more than a means to exist”

Life hadn’t yet scathed her purity. In so few years she had seen and experienced what many others her age hadn’t or couldn’t fathom. He smiled to her, though with beckoned eyes, she recognised, he deemed her naïve, as tongue in cheek he proceeded to speak:

“Perhaps mother Teresa, or Mahatma Gandhi,
Or work in animation, create another Bambi,
I admire your dreams, but we have to be realistic,
Life doesn’t go that way, no matter how you feel it is,
A teacher can teach, allowing others to grow,
You could work with nature cultivating fields to sow,
You seem quite creative perhaps dedicate writer as a hobby and,
Become active in lobbying, for issues you deem troubling,
But we’re talking career options, so that you can make a living,
I mean, the commitment is inspiring but life isn’t always about giving”

She rose to her feet from her seat unfaltering, like the response was not unexpected. He was not the first she had mentioned her ambitions to. She also knew she was not the first like her, though a rarity and while she accepted her inexperience as a teen and that she had a lot yet to be seen, so devoted she was that she didn’t give up. Walking to the door, she faced him understanding she was misunderstood, and parted with the following:

“Thank you, though I still remain slightly confused,
When I entered the room, you didn’t ask what I wanted to do,
You asked what I want to be – and the being is the essence,
It isn’t that I don’t know of struggles that the future may beckon,
My heart may grow harder, maybe I’m unsure of what to make a career of,
And you may render me foolish, ignorant or just soft and going aloft,
But the world needs more healers, not defined by their career but,
The sort that soothe whether they be professionals, labourers or cleaners,
I’ve met people earning peanuts, who exist to bring a joy to strife,
And others materially filthy rich but, their character was sacrificed,
I appreciate your career advice, and maybe I will change and rectify,
And I need the insight to better equip me of how to achieve this dream in life,
For I want to plaster hearts, perform surgery on damaged minds,
Engineer broken souls, fix visions for the blind,
Weld and architect our family using whatever tools I’d find,
My dream may never be practical, and is not the only one of its kind,
But the world needs more healers, and healing takes time.”


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